Now that spring is here and summer is on the horizon, you may be asking yourself “Should I sign up for a CSA?” You may want to support local agriculture for environmental reasons. You may want to eat fruits and vegetables that are freshly picked and haven’t been sitting in transit for weeks before being stocked on the grocery store shelf. And you may also have some reservations. That’s understandable – the unknown can be intimidating! You may be thinking “Will I use the food?” “Will it be worth the money?” “Will my family eat it?”
A CSA is more than just the act of buying produce and bringing it home. To invest in a CSA share is to invest in your family’s lifelong health. For the whole family, you are normalizing a culture of eating fresh produce, and the fact that food can come fresh from the farm as well as from a grocery store. By enjoying peas and lettuce in June, tomatoes, corn and eggplant in August, and kale, potatoes, and carrots in October, you are learning to vary your meals along with the ebb and flow of the local growing season. Having a CSA share takes all the guesswork out of seasonal eating, which makes it easy to get maximum nutrition and flavor for a minimal carbon footprint.
Yes, we can buy produce everywhere these days. How likely are you to go to the grocery store instead of getting takeout when life gets busy? Wouldn’t it be great to come home to a refrigerator full of fresh produce? Having a CSA share encourages creativity and palette expansion. Most people tend to always pick up the same few tried-and-true produce items at the grocery store each week, and rarely experiment with new foods. With a CSA share, we have the opportunity to experiment and introduce new foods, grown by your local farmer.
Through having a CSA share, children form a special connection to the source of their food. They regularly ask “did Farmer Dave grow these carrots?” They eagerly open up their CSA box every week, looking for their favorites. Some fruits and vegetables don’t even make it into the fridge before being eaten. Visits to the farm enrich the experience for children. We have several on-farm pick-ups in Dracut, Tewksbury, and Westford, and host several member events during the course of the season, which give members an opportunity to visit the farm. For kids who would like to participate and have a say in what they bring home, we offer choice-style pick-ups as well as the traditional pre-boxed model.
What about the families who say “I’d love to do a CSA, but I don’t think I can afford it?” Think again! At Farmer Dave’s we are committed to making the CSA affordable for as many families as possible. To that end, we offer payment plans for CSA shares as well as accepting one-time payments. We also accept monthly EBT/SNAP payments for CSA shares through a partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transitional Assistance and Project Bread. Through the Healthy Incentives Program, SNAP recipients can increase their monthly benefits by purchasing CSA shares. We also partner with Groundwork Lawrence, Cambridge Health Alliance, and the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center to offer payment assistance to low income families. Finally, all Farmer Dave’s CSA members receive a “Good Apple” discount, which entitles them to 10% off at our farm stands and farmers markets, and 25% off apple picking at Hill Orchard in Westford.
437 Parker Rd
Dracut MA 01826
CSA pick-ups in Dracut, Tewksbury and Westford